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I was right. But also wrong. All of my arrows hit. But not the target I was aiming for. Though, the prey that I hit didn’t seem to be alive. I didn’t hit its head because of its dome. But it stopped moving; the other prey actually used it as a shield. Very impressive. I can barely move prey. But this one prey can lift other prey into the air, walking with it held out in front. It’s strong. If it weren’t for the holes I dug earlier, I don’t think I could’ve injured it by myself. It’s a good thing I created those holes on that side of the fence too.

I used up all my arrows. But the prey shot one at me which I dodged. It hit the wall behind me. The tip was still intact, the shaft unbroken. I can use it with my bow. But I’ll only have one shot. The uninjured prey are hiding behind the big one. Shooting the big one, it’s not as good as shooting an uninjured one. With a spike in the big one’s foot, it’s not as dangerous as the rest. The big one is crouching, clutching its leg. The upper portions of the other prey are visible. The prey furthest from me is pointing its bow here. But I’m not scared. Arrows take time to fly. In that time, I can crouch down, hide behind the fence. And I’ll have even more arrows to shoot back once it misses.

Thwip.

I ducked, dodging the arrow. For some reason, the prey’s bow makes a different sound from mine. It looks different too. Instead of wood with some metal parts, it doesn’t have any wooden parts. It looks like it has more strings too. Instead of one, there’s a loop. But it’s hard to see with my visor obscuring my vision. The arrows are a little different too. Instead of being made of wood, they’re made of something closer to metal. Not as glossy as metal. And it doesn’t make as much sound when I clank it against things. But it isn’t wood. Interesting.

Thwip.

I ducked again. My hearing isn’t that great with the dome on. But the bow seems to be loud enough for me to hear. I have three more arrows now. The prey haven’t moved from their spot, focusing on the big one’s foot. Only the one with the bow is paying attention to me, drawing another arrow from a bag on its waist. That bag looks very convenient, long, narrow, perfect for holding arrows. I want it. Another arrow flew towards me. I ducked again. This time, I readied my bow while I was under the cover of the fence. I stood up. Another arrow flew at me. I crouched back down. The arrow hit the wall. I stood up again. The prey was readying another arrow. But mine was already ready. I raised my bow, pointed, released.

Twang.

My aim was off again. I tried to hit the prey with the bow. But the arrow shot off to the side, hitting the prey on the ground that already had three arrows sticking out of it. What a waste. If I was going to miss my target, why couldn’t I miss by hitting the big one or any of the uninjured prey instead? But my arrow seemed to startle the prey into action. The big one stood back up. It lifted the limp prey before staggering forward. Even with an injured leg, it could still move while carrying another prey. How strong. It’d be a waste to eat a prey like this. I’d much rather have it follow me as an other. With it’s strength, no doors will stand a chance when it tries to press them down.

Thwip.

I didn’t duck in time. The arrow struck my dome. But it didn’t pierce. It glanced off, embedding into the wall behind me. I suffered a minor shock. But that was all. The dome was worth wearing after all. I readied an arrow without crouching. Compared to the prey, my bow took longer to prepare. Before I could pull the string back, another arrow flew towards me. But I was ready for it, ducking in time. When I stood up, the prey had gotten closer. Less of a chance for me to miss. But the limp prey was being used as a shield, the prey with the bow using the big one as cover. How does the prey shoot so accurately? Every one of its arrows were targeted at me. They would’ve hit me too if I didn’t dodge. Why are my arrows less accurate? Is it doing something differently from me? Our arrows are the same. The bows are different.

The prey with the bow stepped out from behind the big one. I released my string. The arrow flew straight. But the big prey used the limp one as a shield again, catching the arrow with its flesh. The prey with the bow took a step back, twisting its body to the side. It raised the arrow up to its face, its elbow almost as high as its ear. The arm holding the bow was completely straight, pointing at me like a spear.

Thwip.

I ducked. The way I shoot an arrow is completely different from the way it shoots its arrows. The prey’s way must be the correct way. I hadn’t had a chance to observe a prey shoot this closely before. But now I do. It’d be stupid of me not to learn from it. I readied an arrow, copying the prey’s previous stance. Legs apart, bow-holding arm completely straight, string-holding arm up with my elbow level to my ear, hand pressed to my face.

Twang!

The arrow flew much faster than all my previous arrows. Straighter too, directly at the prey I wanted to hit. But the big prey raised its shield, blocking the arrow. Annoying. It seems like the only chance I have to hit the prey is when its shooting at me as well.

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Virlyce

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